Isn’t it time you put some fun and romance back into Valentine’s Day?
At some point, for most couples, date night goes from fun and exciting to “Um, what do you want to do?”
If you have busy jobs and families it’s even hard to make time for a date, and just planning it out may feel overwhelming. Valentine’s Day is upon us though, and it’s the only day in the year that actually celebrates coupling—embracing it is much more joyful than denying it.
Here are fifty ideas for a romantic (and fun) Valentine’s Day date.
- Karaoke night…with wigs and sunglasses.
- Get your favourite takeaway and have an evening picnic in a park.
- Backyard bonfire, beers optional.
- See a matinee movie (bonus points if you smuggle in your own chocolate).
- A walk on the beach is a fine date—find your sweetie a seashell for a Valentine’s gift.
- Lookout out for BOGO coupons at restaurants, pick one and go out for dinner (there are usually plenty around Valentine’s Day.)
- Meet another couple you haven’t seen in a while for coffee.
- Take a yoga class together, then while you’re extra flexible…
- Visit a vineyard for a wine tasting. Bring home a bottle for your next date night.
- Take a long walk–it’s simple but romantic and it’s a low-pressure activity where you both get to decompress.
- Bowling is not considered romantic: make it so. Bring joy to a bowling alley.
- Build a sweat lodge in your yard and fire it up (this can be accomplished cheaply and in less than 3 hours).
- Visit an athletic club just to use the sauna and the hot tub.
- If you can find someone to watch the children, take advantage of Valentine’s coupons to spend a night in a hotel.
- Tour a brewery; drink free beer (just decide on a driver ahead of time).
- Check the Kama Sutra out of your local library and put it to the test.
- Rent a tandem bicycle and go for a ride—this takes some teamwork but you can go twice as fast or twice as far as riding alone.
- Spend an afternoon in the video arcade. Ignore teenage hecklers.
- Rent some gorilla costumes from a shop, put them on, and then go to a bar.
- Go to a second-hand shop: you each have twenty minutes and $20 to buy a gift for the other.
- If you know a good spot on the beach, midnight skinny-dipping is possibly the best cheap date ever invented.
- Take a cooking class together. This is a date that pays it forward for the relationship.
- Have a movie marathon, but plan out the movies and clean up the living room ahead of time.
- Go horseback riding—women seem to enjoy it.
- Visit an art museum, especially if there’s an exhibit in town you both want to see.
- Take a scenic drive, bring along a cooler with beers and sandwiches—a reliably good time.
- Get a couples’ massage. Money well spent.
- Go snorkelling.
- Find a tag sale, used book sale, or a “curbside shop”. Fancy up your home on the cheap.
- Stargaze at night with a blanket and a telescope.
- Find an evening concert you can both dress up for.
- Go through your closets and get a back of stuff together to donate; in other words, make more space in your lives.
- Roller skate on the boardwalk together.
- Take in a play at your local theatre.
- Visit an animal shelter and adopt a dog—if the relationship fails, one of you will still be happy about this date.
- Watch a football match, live or on TV, whichever your budget allows.
- Go to a shooting range; women like to fire guns.
- Have a poker night with another couple, preferably a fun couple.
- Parasail, sail, or paddleboat together.
- Take a nature hike.
- Go out dancing in your Sunday best.
- Visit the farmer’s market together and then secretly buy your date fresh flowers.
- Organise a game of pickup basketball in your neighbourhood—this could lead to romance for stray singles in the area.
- Take a yoga class that focuses on relaxing.
- Watch the planes taking off at the airport, think about where you’d like to go together next.
- If neither of you are into Valentine’s Day at all, go to a newsagent and read each other sappy cards aloud, in all seriousness. First one to break down laughing has to make dinner.
- Find somewhere to go swimming, indoors or out. Bonus points for polar bear dates.
- Dress up in your finest clothes and have exotic cocktails at a posh bar with an amazing view.
- Chances are you both use your hands a lot. Give him/her a hand massage in appreciation of the work he/she does all day.
- Stay in, turn off all technology, have a quiet candlelight dinner. See what happens in the dark.
At least ten items on this list are free, and many more are inexpensive. If you really want to spend some money on your honey, ask them ahead of time before buying the front-row concert tickets—it’s possible they just want a quiet evening at home.
Whatever choice you make this Valentine’s Day, remember that there’s no pressure in a day of true celebration—the date is about taking a break from the other pressures in your life. And if you’re alone this year, do something for yourself that you’ve been putting off—at least half the ideas on this list are just as fun alone as with a partner.
Do you need relationship help?
Since 2003, Clinton Power has helped thousands of couples and individuals as a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice in Sydney and online in Australia. Clinton regularly comments in the media on issues of relationships and has appeared on Channel 7, The Sydney Morning Herald, and ABC Radio. Clinton’s eBook, 31 Days to Build a Better Relationship is available through his website or Amazon. Click here to take Clinton’s relationship checkup quiz to find out how well you know your partner.